In a new report out today, Nuclear Lessons Learned, the engineering alliance outlines key factors that could reduce risks and delays for the UK industry, which has lost much of its experience and knowledge in recent years. The alliance brings together UK engineering institutions and bodies that represent the country’s 450,000 engineers, including the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Royal Academy of Engineering. With the possibility of eight new power stations to be built over the next decade without Government subsidies, the EtF highlights the fact that follow-on replica stations will be much cheaper than ‘first-of-a-kind’ developments. Having looked at six projects in the UK, Finland, France and China, the report says that designs for new power stations should be mature and all licensing issues should be resolved prior to construction. Particularly important to the now inexperienced UK industry, says the EtF, is a highly qualified design and planning team, as well as experienced or properly trained construction contractors.
Energy Efficiency News 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Planning Magazine 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Reuters 28th Oct 2010 more >>
The European Commission is all set to propose deep underground storage of radioactive nuclear fuel waste, according to a leaked document. The measures have drawn criticisms from the environmental groups especially the anti-nuclear campaigners although businesses and the nuclear energy industry has backed the proposals.
eGov Monitor 27th Oct 2010 more >>
Champagne’s ruling council has warned producers to be vigilant after it failed to prevent the continuation of a nuclear waste site only few miles from vineyards. A French court has turned down an appeal by the CIVC, Champagne’s trade body, that sought to force France’s nuclear energy agency to stop processing radioactive waste at the site at Soulaines, which is less than ten miles from designated Champagne vineyards.
Just Drinks 27th Oct 2010 more >>
As soon as residents living near Hinkley Point, on the west Somerset coast, were told that a 12-pylon wind farm was planned for their rural idyll, opposition was quick to grow. The community had lived side-by-side with nuclear power stations for decades, but many drew the line at the prospect of adding a dozen 300ft turbines to their backyard.
Independent 28th Oct 2010 more >>
HEALTH experts have rubbished anti-nuclear campaigners’ claims that Hinkley Point is to blame for high rates of breast cancer among women in Burnham over an 11-year period. Professor Busby’s study showed 167 women in Burnham’s north and south wards developed the deadly disease between 1994 and 2004 – 54 more than would normally be expected. According to Stop Hinkley, Professor Derek Pheby, who independently reviewed the figures, claimed the chances of such high rates occurring randomly would be one in two million, although the South-West PHO said cancer rates were one quarter above the national average throughout the South-West. However, a Somerset Primary Care Trust spokesman said: “The PCT has seen no new or compelling evidence to date which would support campaigners’ hypothesis that radioactive pollution arising from the past operation or the recent decommissioning of Hinkley Point, is responsible for a statistical increase in the incidence of breast or any other cancer in the surrounding area.”
This is the West Country 27th Oct 2010 more >>
Bridgwater Mercury 27th Oct 2010 more >>
In a bold statement this week Kenneth Gibson MSP for Cunninghame North has ruled out another nuclear plant at Hunterston. Noting the hysterical tone of the Labour candidate’s letter in last week’s News, it’s clear that it’s going to be a long and weary few months to the election. In his desperate attempt to win the hitherto safe seat he lost in 2007 through his own arrogance, complacency and neglect, Allan Wilson does not let the facts get in the way of his own rhetoric. He accuses the SNP of being responsible for the Hunterston Coal application by opposing a new Hunterston C. If Mr Wilson had bothered to contact Ayrshire Power Ltd he would know that the application they submitted was not dependent on whether a Hunterston C happened at all. Mr Wilson’s support for a Hunterston C would have more weight if he himself hadn’t voted against new nuclear power stations in the last Parliament. Frankly, his hypocrisy on the issue is shameful. Readers might also wonder why he attacks the SNP on this issue but not his own anti-nuclear Labour MP or why he now supports nuclear power in Largs but says nothing in other parts of the constituency such as anti-nuclear Arran. Clearly he is motivated not by policy or principle but political tribalism of the worst kind. The SNP does not support new nuclear power stations and have always been open about that. However, the reason Hunterston C is unlikely to be built has little to do with the SNP. Only last week both the Economist and Wall Street Journal had articles on how none of the 28 new nuclear stations planned for the USA with loan guarantees approved by Congress in 2007 will be built, not for political but economic reasons.
Largs & Millport Weekly News 27th Oct 2010 more >>
Low Level Waste
Around 500 tonnes of radioactive waste from the Olympic Park in east London has been dumped in a landfill site in Cambridgeshire, the Guardian has learned. A permit was not required since the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was able to take advantage of the same exemption order which allowed it to bury waste with low levels of radioactivity on-site in a bunker just 250m from the main Olympic stadium. The bunker was completed and filled with waste in late 2008 but subsequent construction activity around the Olympic site uncovered radioactive waste at three separate locations.
Guardian 26th Oct 2010 more >>
EDF, the French state-owned utility, is rethinking its strategy for expansion in the US and will look for a new American partner, after breaking up its relationship with Constellation Energy to build new nuclear power stations. The industry is concerned about the limited availability of federal loan guarantees for new reactors. Constellation said it was unable to go ahead with its share of Unistars planned development of a new nuclear plant at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland because of the high cost of the loan guarantee it had been offered.
EDF also gets sites for four possible new nuclear plants: two at Calvert Cliffs and two others in New York state. EDF is pressing ahead with US regulatory approval for the EPR and will also begin the search for a new partner required by US law. The American partner does not need to have a majority stake in the venture but has to take control of safety.
FT 28th Oct 2010 more >>
EDF and US partner Constellation Energy have settled a row over a nuclear project that could have cost the French power group up to $2bn. Under the deal, EDF will buy Constellation’s half-share in their UniStar partnership for $140m and will also transfer its 3.5m shares in Constellation back to the company and give up its board seat.
In return, Constellation agreed not to exercise an option to sell EDF up to $2bn of non-nuclear assets.
City AM 28th Oct 2010 more >>
The Washington-based Arms Control Association today issued its first-ever report card assessing how a number of countries have lived up to their existing nonproliferation commitments. Unlike similar documents issued by other groups, it refrains from making concrete suggestions on how better adhere to those goals.
Global Security 27th Oct 2010 more >>
Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets all over Germany on the national day of action against the transportation of nuclear waste.
Euro News 24th Oct 2010 more >>
Sigmar Gabriel, leader of Germany’s main opposition Social Democratic Party, said that his party will challenge the government’s nuclear plans in court. If the SPD returns to power at elections in 2013, “we would overturn this nonsense,” Gabriel said on ARD television today, as the lower house of parliament prepared to vote on plans by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to prolong the use of nuclear power. Asked if he intends to challenge at the constituional court in Karlsruhe the government’s plans to bypass the upper house, Gabriel said: “That’s correct.”
Bloomberg 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Hundreds of local revolts against wind farms have jeopardised the plan to use them to generate more than a quarter of Britain’s electricity, figures seen by The Independent reveal. New wind farms are needed to have any chance of creating enough renewable energy to reduce reliance on coal and gas power production. But planning approvals for them in England are at an all-time low, with only one in three applications getting the go-ahead from councils in the face of angry and organised opposition from people living nearby. More than 230 separate local campaign groups against wind farms are operating across the UK, from Scotland and Kent to Norfolk, Yorkshire and Cornwall. These groups are scoring striking successes in defeating planned wind farms even when faced with the weight of official recommendations. In the last 12 months to September, there ha s been a 50 per cent drop in planning approvals in England, and approvals for windfarms in Scotland have also fallen. The number of new windfarms coming on-stream (becoming active) has also fallen by 30 per cent partly as a result of the recession. The figures are revealed in a report on the state of the industry which will be published next week and has been seen by The Independent.
Independent 28th Oct 2010 more >>
“We’ve had a lucky escape,” says Jeremy Leggett. “There were massive forces of darkness lined up against us a whole cadre of politicians and officials trying to, at the minimum, cut back the FIT and, if they could get away with it, shut it do wn completely.” The FIT is central to the development of Britain’s clean-energy sector, and the back-room machinations over its survival are just a single skirmish in the war for the future of Britain’s energy supplies. Mr Leggett could not be more serious: “The danger is that we will be ambushed by our collective stupidity before we have enough weapons to fight back. The mobilisation of renewable-energy technologies vital to our survival might not happen fast enough to counter the threats of global warming and peak oil.” In both Whitehall and the energy majors, “retrograde thinkers” are already defending the status quo “with amazing vehemence” and the battles are only just beginning. The rhetoric in recent years has been about an energy mix generating capacity of every sort, but the old and the new can no longer co-exist, Mr Leggett believes. And once renewables really take off, the war will begin in earnest, he says, pointing to evidence from Germany that even the fraction of electricity consumption supplied by solar PV is pulling down midday-peak electricity demand, clipping prices and hurting the profits of the energy giants.
Independent 28th Oct 2010 more >>
SCOTLAND has just recorded one of its lowest winter death tolls of the past two decades – despite last year’s record-breaking cold weather. New government figures show there were 19,688 deaths between December and March in 2009-10, the second lowest number of deaths registered in 20 winters going back to 1990-91, and equivalent to 163 a day. The fall in deaths came despite bitterly cold weather which caused widespread disruption throughout Scotland, along with the swine flu epidemic that hit the country. Excess winter deaths, the increased number compared with the rest of the year, was slightly lower than the 20-year average at 2,764 but significantly lower than the number of deaths in the previous year.
Scotsman 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Letter John Mitchell: The UK Government could save billions of pounds by abandoning the morally indefensible and virtually useless Trident nuclear weapons system. The Liberals could force this on their Tory colleagues. Will they? No. Most of them will probably abstain, although they will split as ever. They have abandoned any anti-nuclear views they pretended to hold in the past and are now just puppets of their Tory coalition partners. I am sure the Liberals will suffer in the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections – and they deserve to for being so supine.
Southern Reporter 28th Oct 2010 more >>
It was one of the most nerve-racking 45-minute periods U.S. military chiefs have ever known. Pentagon chiefs were stunned to discover that a U.S. air force base had lost control of 50 nuclear, inter-continental missiles. A power failure meant that one-ninth of America’s nuclear arsenal went offline for three-quarters of an hour, it emerged yesterday.
Daily Mail 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Independent 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Scotsman 28th Oct 2010 more >>
Telegraph 28th Oct 2010 more >>
RAF fighter jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian nuclear bombers near British airspace twice in the last week, it emerged today.
Daily Mail 27th Oct 2010 more >>